The measurement of the sound reduced by partitions in a development, such as a wall or floor, is known as sound insulation testing or sound testing. It assesses how good the soundproofing materials fixed to the property development are. The Building Regulations Approved Document E (ADE) states all new dwellings and renovated constructions should undergo sound testing.
Building Control does not issue completion certificates to buildings that don’t have a sound insulation certificate. Contractors and developers have sometimes discovered this, to their detriment. We understand how important it is for you to get a sound insulation certificate. That’s why we go the extra mile to make sure you get your certificate as quickly as possible. In fact, we pride ourselves on issuing our sound insulation testing certificates as quickly as possible.
Even before you get the certificate, you will receive the results of the test. First, our skilled and competent sound insulation test will engineers give you a verbal result at the site. Then, a written report is sent to you within 24 hours of a working day.
- Over 15 years experience
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- Next Day Report Turn Around
What is a Sound Insulation Test?
Developments must test all walls, floors and ceilings that separate buildings or neighbours in a dwelling, to conform to Approved Document E (ADE) of the Building Regulations. You may not have to test your building if you used Robust Details which were approved before their installation. Sound insulation tests examine airborne and impact sound moving between separating walls and floors. The tests include party walls and floors between structures or between spaces within a new development.
What is involved in Sound testing?
A sound insulation test creates a high amount of noise but needs a site with low noise levels to be taken effectively. As a result of this, workers in a testing area might have to leave the development temporarily, so that the test can be free from errors. Sound insulation testing varies by size, complexity and conditions of site tested. A dwelling or development of normal size and simplicity will more than likely be tested in 90 minutes.
After the test, the sound insulation test engineers will let you know the outcome of the test and supply simple feedback of important things noted during the test; e.g. problems that might occur in the future.
You will get a detailed written report and sound test certificate about a day after, if possible. The way a sound test is conducted is determined by ADE of Building Regulations. It mandates that in all developments, every 10 units in a group or sub-group will undertake one set of tests. It explicitly states what a sub-group is in Section 1. There are three types of grouping criteria that need to be assessed: dwelling houses (including bungalows), flats and rooms for residential purposes, such as student accommodation and hotel rooms, care homes etc. How much testing that should be done on each group is listed below:
Why Sound Testing is Required
Before completing a building, all new constructions should be tested for sound insulation, as stipulated by Approved Document E since 2003. The impact sound test result should not be more than 62dB L’nTw and the airborne sound insulation should not be less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. ADE ensures that new building are resistant to noise from adjoining buildings and other rooms within the same building. Sound testing is essential due to the fact that sound impacts us wherever we are, whether it’s at home, leisure or the office. Reduced noise in the partitions and flooring of a structure leads to greater ease and a more efficient environment.
Sound insulation and speech privacy are critical for a variety of reasons. Inadequate sound insulation can be extremely distressing to those affected by it. For instance, an inhabitant in an apartment building sleeps during the day and works at night all the days of the week. If the neighbour in the upstairs flat has friends over and plays loud music, without a good sound insulation system, the working occupant will be uncomfortable and uneasy. This is one way sound insulation can affect how a person lives. It can be useful in dwellings with neighbouring units/flats/rooms which have diverse purposes, by guaranteeing that an occupant in a room will hear as little noise as possible from the neighbouring room.
Do I Need a Sound Insulation Test?
Your development needs a sound insulation test if it meets one of the following criteria:
- It’s design does not have Robust Details
- It’s a new building with 2 or more dwellings
- It’s being constructed to be used as a residence, like a hotel room or a hostel, or as a nursing home
- It was once a single dwelling but is being turned into a development with several flats or units.
ADE thoroughly explains sound testing and makes it compulsory.
There are 2 ways you can comply. Test for sound insulation using the method of Approved Document E or use Robust Details in your development. Robust Details are a set of specific design details for walls and floors that have been previously tested to show compliance and must be used if this route is selected. With it, you don’t need a sound insulation test, but you must completely follow every aspect of the design from the Robust Detail Approved list. With sound testing, however, you’re free to pick from any design, including more cost effective and appropriate ones. This makes it a more efficient process than Robust Details. On-site pre-completion sound insulation testing gives architects more insight and ability to make their design lead to constructions that have a higher sound performance.
Cost of Sound Insulation Testing
To get a free quote for your dwelling, contact us. We have handled all kinds of sound insulation projects in UK and issue a report and certificate as quickly as possible. Our prices are affordable too and can beat others.
When can I carry out the sound insulation tests?
The ideal period for a sound insulation test is after the fitting of windows and doors, and before the building is finished. If you want, AF Acoustics can conduct tests before then to find out if there are any problems on your property. These are the things we need to conduct the test:
- 240V power supply
- A quiet environment
- Access to all the units of the structure unless places to test have been decided before then.
How is Sound Insulation Testing Done?
Our sound test engineers can answer your questions and make the sound test process easy to understand on site, during the time of the test. For partition walls, airborne tests are carried out. For floors there are two types, airborne and impact tests.
A big or multidirectional speaker, with a generator of pink or white noise is used to the biggest room. The sound in the source room and receiver room (sharing a separating wall with the source room) is measured with a sound level meter. The meter is also used to measure the background sound, to ensure that it’s 10dB lower than the source sound, as is the standard. More background sound leads to creating a higher source sound. For airborne sound tests, two individual speaker positions are used for each source room. Measurements are then made to determine the levels in the receiving room of the tested partition in question. This gives a basic level difference between source and receiver rooms.
This basic level difference is then ‘corrected’ to allow for the reverberation time (the time is taken, in seconds, for a noise source to decay by 60dB) and the existing levels of background noise monitored whilst in the receiving room. Impact tests are done by placing a standardised tapping machine on the floor. The noise level is then recorded in the room below. This is used in calculating and computing the results. These results are checked against Building Regulations ADE conditions for that kind of dwelling. Without the mathematical formulae used in the calculations, this is a simple explanation, however, it helps explain the testing process.
Sound Test Equipment Used
Our high-tech sound insulation machines are UKAS calibrated and our accredited expert engineers conduct the test using Building Regulations present criteria. An airborne test calculates the amount of sound moving through a separating element. We use a loudspeaker and noise generator that produces white or pink noise on one side of the partition, and measure with a sound level meter on both sides to calculate the sound insulation performance of the partition. Sound level meter is also used for impact tests. Alongside it, a tapping machine that drops metal hammers is used. Testing can only be completed on ‘habitable’ rooms. Habitable rooms can be bedrooms, lounges, living rooms and open plan kitchen/ living spaces. You will get the test results in a report within a working day. This report can be used to help sign off your building as it is accepted by Building Control.
A sound test is mandatory for these buildings:
Sound testing measures the impact and airborne sound moving through new and old adjoining buildings. This could affect the separating walls between buildings or in-between the spaces in a development.
Two or more new build dwellings or flats
This is to ensure that the sound proofing of the building is up to standard for residential purposes.
Converting a property into several units
All the units that have been built are to be constructed in alignment with Part E of Building Regulations.
Design not using Robust Details
The Robust Detail Scheme, set up in 2004 by Robust Details Ltd, architects create design details for walls and floors that were tested formerly for sound insulation and meet the sound performance parameters stated by Part E of Building Regulations. If the building design is not in line with any Robust Details, it will require sound testing to ensure its compliance with the buildings regulations. A building built as a permanent dwelling has different minimum standards from a building with rooms built for residential purpose, like a hotel or a hostel.
Which areas of the UK does AF Acoustics cover?
AF Acoustics renders acoustics design services and consultancy to customers all over the UK, especially in Globe-Town. Our clientele base includes architects, planning and environmental consultancies, private individuals and government agencies. Our consultants can be found in various places in the south east region. This way you get an affordable price.
Why you should pick AF Acoustics for your sound testing
We have helped many homes and business owners in Globe-Town with their sound tests and building’s sound performance. Our customers endorse and recommend us because of the following advantages of working with us.
15 years’ experience
With more than 15 years of experience, we have a deep knowledge of our customers’ industry and provide actionable strong advice tailored to their needs. By doing this, we have been able to continuously satisfy clients in the UK and meet their acoustic needs for over 15 years, providing great value for money.
To make certain that all clients in Globe-Town can pay for excellent sound insulation testing services, we have one of the best and most competitive prices found in and around Globe-Town. Contact us right now to get a quotation that’s completely free of charge.
Ultrafast and efficient consultancy
We will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Both your short and long-term needs are handled with our professional guidance and quick answers to your problems.
Adaptable test dates
Your convenience is essential to us. This is the reason we provide you with adaptable choices that allow you to pick test dates that are most advantageous for you. Call us to get your sound testing in Globe-Town undertaken.
Test reports arrive the next day
The sooner you receive the details of your sound insulation test results, the sooner you can get your building signed or remedy any problems. We endeavour to give you the report the following working day in all situations, even when the project is complex and large in size. That way, you can take immediate action on the recommendations given. Our reports are thorough and cover all the important issues.
Sound insulation services we provide
AF Acoustics offer a range of comprehensive acoustic solutions to customers nationwide, and we guarantee a high-quality and high-efficiency approach. Phone or email us today for more information on how we can help you with your acoustic requirements.
Impact and airborne floor test
Impact and airborne floor tests are conducted on ceilings/floors between rooms. The calculation of the sound level transferred from one unit to another through a separating floor via impact is called an impact test. Airborne and impact tests are conducted on the floor partitions between liveable rooms.
Testing in line with Part E of Building Regulations
Our sound insulation tests meet the requirements of Building Regulations Part E, which describes building structures resistance to the movement of sound within and from adjoining structures. For new buildings, results for impact sound should be 62dB L’nTw or less while those for airborne sound insulation should be 45dB DnTw+Ctr or more. Converted structures expected impact sound results increases by 2dB L’nTw while the airborne sound results reduces by 2dB DnTw+Ctr.
We offer the highest levels of service and expertise and are always happy to work with you to give you the best possible chance of achieving a pass certificate. A new dwelling may have to undergo an airborne and impact test to meet the benchmark of greater than 45dB DnTw+Ctr and less than 62dB L’nTw. We frequently give robust advice to project managers and developers from the start of the construction, ensuring that they’ll have adequate sound insulation to pass a sound test. Simply contact us immediately ad you’ll get a free quotation in addition to more details about our sound testing services.
BB93 Acoustic Design testing in Schools
Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) describes the minimum requirement for the acoustics of a school building. It also stipulates how a school can conform to Building Regulations. Are you building a new school in Globe-Town? Contact us to arrange a sound test and make sure it meets the benchmarks of BB93.
We have provided acoustic design services and consulting to various clients with different types and sizes of dwellings. We also give customised solutions and have a deep understanding of acoustic merchandise. Due to this fact, we will provide precise design answers suitable for the specific needs of the construction.
Getting advice on the acoustics of a development as early as possible is crucial. AF Acoustics can enable you to do that by advising you on the appropriate acoustic requirements of your property very early in the building process and recommending what to do to fulfil them.
We can assist with:
Acoustic detail design for architects involved in residential developments for compliance with Part E Regs, BS8233, and so on. Detail plans for the educational, commercial and healthcare industry so as to meet with the current criteria. Specification and design of building services for noise control in residential and other noise sensitive scenarios Public address and sound reinforcement (conference rooms / lecture theatres etc.)
Get a sound insulation testing quotation by contacting our experts
We are an independent acoustic organisation that handles everything concerning acoustics including survey, design, architectural and building acoustics and air tightness testing. Our expert consultation is available to individuals and companies with all types and sizes of constructions. We will give you free quotation with highly competitive rates. Simply call us or email email@example.com
Please send the following information to us
Give us the following information when contacting us
The development’s location
Where is your development situated in Globe-Town
Total number of dwellings
Total number of dwellings in the building.
Number of floors in the building
To give you an appropriate quotation, would like to know the number of floors in your building.
Configuration of dwellings (no. of units per level)
Tell us how many units are in your structure so that we can give you the right calculation for your quotation and know the scope of the test.
Kind of structure
What is your building type? This will help us know the kind of test it will undergo.
New property or reconstructed dwelling
Knowing if your building is new or converted allows us to give you a competitive quotation and prepare the right test for it.
Building regulations for sound insulation test
We undertake sound insulation test on various buildings that adhere to Building Regulations Document E. Testing can also enable you get more credits for Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes environmental assessment constructions.
Sound resistance and performance: Document E of Building Regulations (England and Wales)
We have fully accredited engineers who can visit your property to issue appropriate certification that complies with the building control.
Standard division for developments (Scotland)
Section 5.1 of the Scottish Building Standards explicitly describes expected energy performance of dwellings. It states, “Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that each wall and floor separating one dwelling from another, or one dwelling from another part of the building, or one dwelling from a building other than a dwelling, will limit the transmission of noise to the dwelling to a level that will not threaten the health of the occupants or inconvenience them in the course of normal domestic activities.” Tests should be performed after construction, using the procedures given in annex 5.C. of the Scottish Standards. Standard 5.1 does not apply to: fully detached houses or roofs or walkways with access solely for maintenance, or solely for the use of the residents of the dwelling below.
How to get a pass certificate for your sound test
The most effective way to ensure you pass your sound test is to plan the project with sound insulation in mind. This does not need to be costly, and can save considerable time and expense at the end of the project, not to mention avoiding escalating remedial and re-test costs. Are you uncertain that the separating floor and walls you will build will adhere to Document E 2003 conditions? You can book our design services. We can study design reports, complete site visits and sound test the development to provide you with the level of assessment and consultation that your project requires from start to finish. The following conditions will provide you with an ample chance of passing the sound test: Windows and internal and external doors are fitted and operable Skirting boards are fitted and sealed Fix all light switches, light fittings and plug sockets. Our experienced acoustic consultants work with developers, contractors, architects and planners of all sizes from the early design stage to help minimise any potential issues right through to project completion, ensuring that all properties are compliant with Building Regulations Document E 2003.
Certificates for test evaluation and report
We try to issue a certificate to give you the details of the test evaluation and report, by the next day. After the test, our site engineers will provide verbal results and advise you on how to solve potential problem or future areas of concern. 6. Even before you get the certificate, you get the verbal results of the test. First, our completely skilled and competent sound insulation test engineers give you a verbal result at the site. They also offer advice on potential problems. Then the test report certificate is sent to you within 24 working hours, when feasible.
What do the results look like?
A certificate will be issued to you whether the sound insulation treatment of the building meets the requirements of Document E of Building Regulations or not. In the event of a wall or floor not achieving the Part E requirements, it may be necessary to carry out remedial works before having another sound test carried out. We can provide you with remedial design advice to help you achieve the Building Regulations requirements.
Sound Insulation FAQ’s
What are the minimum requirements for separating party walls and party floors between neighbouring dwellings?
The minimum requirements depend on a variety of factors such as if the development is a new build or refurbished, whether the development is intended to be a permanent dwelling, or classified as “rooms of residential purposes” (e.g. hotels, student accommodation, etc).
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
Flanking sound (or flanking noise) is sound that transmits between spaces indirectly, going over or around, rather than directly through the main separating element. This can allow sound to transmit between spaces even though the main separating element itself provides good acoustic insulation. Engaging our services at an early stage allows us to check designs and add necessary measures to prevent this occurring after construction. In the worst cases, flanking can exceed the direct transmission and lead to a failed test, despite highly specified partitions.
In the case of impact sound, the building construction is caused to vibrate as a result of a physical impact, such as footsteps on floors or stairs. The resulting vibration is radiated into other rooms in the building.
We can provide preliminary results on the day of test. We strive to deliver next day reporting in all scenarios regardless the complexity or size of the project. The delivered report will be comprehensive and detailed, to ensure all relevant issues are covered. The best recommendations can also be sent in a separate report or email.
We can normally conduct up to a maximum of three sets of tests per day. One set is two airborne floor tests, two airborne wall tests and two impact floor sound tests.
When it comes to the acoustic tests, a full set of tests should take approximately 90 minutes.
The requirements of sound insulation testing are fully detailed in the Building Regulations Approved Document, available here [link], under Part E (2003).
This requires all residential buildings to be tested when they involve walls and/or floors. These are known as party elements.
Assuming no tests are failed, building control bodies should stipulate at least one set of tests for every ten dwelling-houses, flats or rooms for residential purposes in a group or sub-group.
New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound insulation of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound insulation of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr.
We recommend that if possible, we are contacted before a build to provide a design review and advice on how to meet quality standards.
Should the test fail, we can offer advice on how to improve the sound insulation. We have consulted on hundreds of building projects in the past, and have ensured all of them have met the building regulations. If a sound insulation test fails, we can give remindial advice to ensure the tests passes later.
We understand that most clients would prefer testing to take place as soon as possible. Once you get in touch we will schedule the test at the earliest available opportunity.
You can call us today to set up an appointment for sound insulation testing. Our scheduling is flexible so that you can get the service you need at your convenience.
Ideally, a test should be carried out as early as possible as problems are more difficult to fix the further along you are. Where possible, it’s recommended that testing is carried out before kitchens or bathrooms are installed. The minimum that we require to be able to carry out a test is:
- All doors, windows and seals should be fully fitted and closable
- All electrical fittings should be fitted and working
- 240V mains power must be available on-site in all rooms
- Gaps in walls and floors should be fully sealed
- All walls and ceilings should be plastered
- There should be no holes remaining in floors or ceilings
- Testers will require access to all rooms on all levels
Pre-completion sound testing is a building regulation requirement for all purpose built & “formed by material change of use” (i.e. refurbished) properties since 2003. Sound testing is undertaken in a percentage of properties in each development to ensure that the separating walls & floors between habitable rooms of neighbouring properties meet the minimum requirements as defined by Approved Document E, commonly referred to as ADE.
From 2003, Approved Document E states that all new UK builds must undergo pre-completion sound insulation testing. New builds must achieve impact sound test results of no more than 62dB L’nTw and airborne sound loss of no less than 45dB DnTw+Ctr. Converted properties must achieve impact results of 64dB L’nTw or lower and airborne sound loss of no less than 43dB DnTw+Ctr. Approved Document E sets out details pertaining to the resistance to the passage of sound.
This Approved Document, as part of UK Building Regulations helps to ensure that newly built or converted houses and residencies, flats and residential spaces and other relevant buildings are constructed to minimum standards that provide ‘reasonable resistance to sound from other parts of the same building and from adjacent buildings.’ All of our tests are fully compliant with Approved Document E and our expert team have been carrying out compliant tests for many years, for thousands of satisfied customers throughout the UK.
We understand the sectors our clients work in. Our advice is not only technically robust but also practical and helpful to our client’s particular situation. At AF Acoustics, we always look at the bigger picture and work towards the ultimate development goal.
In order to provide you best solutions, we will listen to your needs, present you with robust solutions and deliver acoustic consultancy through our considerable experience. Our ever-expanding knowledge-base allows us to provide cost-effective and streamlined solutions.
Our consultants are very experienced and have a proven track record on both small scale projects and major projects. As we are a lean and small company, we have lower overheads and therefore offer exceptional value for money.
Airborne sound (or airborne noise) is sound that is transmitted through the air. Airborne Sound Insulation is the insulation against noise originating in air, e.g. voices, music, motor traffic, wind. The greater the airborne sound insulation between two rooms, the lower the resulting sound level in the receiving room.
This is unlike Impact Sound Insulation that protects against noise originating directly on a structure by blows or vibration e.g. footsteps above, furniture being moved, drilling and hammering the structure.